Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Arab,Western powers say no future role for Assad

Written by Press Trust Of India | London | Posted: October 23, 2013 12:49 am

A GROUP of Arab and the Western countries Tuesday agreed with Syria’s moderate opposition that President Bashar al-Assad should have no role in any future Syrian government.

The group of 11 countries — Britain,Egypt,France,Germany,Jordan,Italy,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Turkey,the UAE and the US,dubbed as Friends of Syria — during talks with the opposition discussed ways to ensure that the Geneva II conference next month must be about a political transition in Syria away from the Assad regime.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague,after the talks here,said,“We are as clear as he is that Assad has no role in a peaceful and democratic Syria.”

Without giving details,Hague told reporters that a “number of important steps” were agreed on during the meeting with Ahmad Jarba,head of the Syrian National Coalition. Syria’s moderate opposition should “commit itself fully” to planned peace talks,he said.

However,a defiant Assad said he intended to run for re-election in 2014.

Planned talks in Geneva next month offered Syrians the “best hope to improve their lives”,Hague was quoted as saying by BBC.

The Syrian opposition coalition had agreed to attend the London talks,saying it would focus on “these countries’ understandings about Geneva II and what it should result in”.

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